Facebook might be busy copying Snapchat, but that doesn’t the mean the app is not trying to add new features. Snapchat on iOS has just gone for a major design revamp, which brings the universal search feature to the platform. This was earlier rolled out for Android users.
One of the problems on Snapchat has been finding users, especially since people sign up and create accounts with all sorts of weird names. While the real names of people might still be linked to their accounts, if you are trying to find someone by their Snapchat account name, then good luck. Universal Search to some extent can some solve this problem.
The new universal chat makes it a lot easier to navigate Snapchat. First it up occupies a prominent position on top of camera, which shows up as soon as you open the app. Just tap on the search bar, and you’ll see the Quick Chat option right on top, with names of your closest Snapchat friends appearing in a row.
This is followed by Groups and New Friends at the bottom. Also for those who have synced their Bitmoji account with Snapchat, the app will now show their Bitmoji face as the icon next to the Search symbol. This Bitmoji will turn yellow when someone new adds you as a friend on Snapchat. Just tap on the Bitmoji icon when it is yellow, and you’ll see who has added you and you can add them back or choose to ignore them.
You can Swipe right on the New Friend box, and you’ll see Quick Add to add others from Snapchat with whom you might have common friends. This is followed by the Contacts tab, where you can add friends from your contacts list on your mobile or invite friends to Snapchat.
Universal Search will also let people search for editions from publishers, and you can subscribe directly from the Search button itself. Discover has specifically created content from select publishers, with Snapchat exercising strict control.
Snapchat will also let people submit Story to Out Story as well. Our Story submissions will be used in Snapchat’s curated stories, which are usually shared as Live Stories around an event or theme. Now it looks like Snapchat is accepting submissions from everyone, and will decide based on the relevant theme or event, etc.
The app has been criticised for being too difficult to use, especially for anyone over 30 and is mostly popular among teens. But given there’s an IPO coming up in March, Snap Inc, the parent company for Snapchat will need to convince it has a serious growth plan and it will need to expand its user base.